Marbella is an international destination synonymous with glamour, style and luxurious experiences. This is evident in its setting, climate, surroundings and homes, but also finds expression in its five-star resort hotels, prestigious golf courses and racquet clubs, deluxe wellness and spa facilities, as well as fine dining, boutique shopping and a host of specialist and concierge services that can be arranged for a world of unforgettable moments. Here, life is as simple and natural or upmarket and jet-set as you like. Following are some suggestions typical of what Marbella can offer.
1. Charter a yacht in Puerto Banús
The internationally renowned marina of Puerto Banús is the ultimate glamour destination in the Marbella region – a place where some of the most luxurious yachts are moored alongside super cars, limousines, top brand boutiques and exclusive nightclubs. Not all the superyachts here are private and off-limits; some are available for private charter, and they vary in size and opulence to ensure that you can have everything from a star-studded floating palace to a more affordable day out at sea. Private and corporate groups make use of the opportunity to head out into the Mediterranean, enjoy a delicious lunch, relax on-board and dive into the sea – all in the care of an experienced crew. Many book the experience for a single day, but longer itineraries include sailing across the Straits to marinas in Morocco, following the Spanish coastline and also making the journey to the Balearic Islands.
2. Take a helicopter tour
Another way to enjoy a uniquely beautiful perspective of Marbella, its shoreline, greenery and mountain ranges is to take a helicopter tour. Not only is it a fast, convenient and very discreet way of getting around that is favoured by the rich and famous, but booking a helicopter with a private pilot offers the freedom of choosing from a wide range of routes – either skirting the coast en route to Málaga or heading into the beautiful countryside in the hills behind Marbella. Many of the finest hotels, villas, golf courses and country spa retreats – not to mention the private racing resort of Ascari near Ronda – have heliports for their most exclusive guests.
3. Lunch by the beach
There are many venues along the Costa del Sol where you can enjoy a stylish meal by the sea, but the Puente Romano’s Sea Grill is one of the finest of all. As the sister resort hotel of the iconic Marbella Club, it offers Golden Mile beachside glamour and refinement in the finest Marbella tradition. This is the spot where Marbella magic was born, so revel in the luxury, style and tradition of one of its landmark beachside venues. Here one can expect fine dining, including superlative seafood from one of the leading chefs in Marbella, an exclusive bar and lounge area, waiter service on the beach and the iconic pool deck overlooking the Mediterranean. Pure Marbella bliss.
4. Dinner and Dance
Again, the options are many, but one of the most highly recommended is enjoying a top international dining experience at the Nobu restaurant within the Puente Romano, and then heading over to Olivia Valere to dance the night away in the most glamorous of settings. This nightclub of the stars is located just off the Golden Mile and features a variety of indoor and outdoor lounge and dining areas, bars as well as of course dance floors. Olivia Valere is frequented by many a celebrity, as well as the beautiful set, so choose your preferred setting and enjoy a night out in style!
5. Golf at Finca Cortesin
The Costa del Sol has over 60 golf courses to choose from, including some of the best in Europe, but try a round of golf at Finca Cortesin and you won’t be disappointed. The 18-hole championship course, which has hosted a variety of international tournaments, meanders its way through one of the most tastefully styled and laid out resort hotel and residential areas in this region. Finca Cortesin has the look and ambience of an established country estate that blends beautifully into undulating greenery that cascades down towards the Mediterranean just west of Estepona. Here, at under half an hour from Marbella, you can enjoy some of the finest cuisine in southern Spain, a super spa and if you wish to spend a day by the pool or at the beach club, the service and sophistication of what is considered to be one of the premium hotels in all of Spain. Many in the Marbella area ‘escape’ to this oasis of style and comfort for a break that involves golf, spa, gorgeous food and pampering relaxation.
6. Shopping in Puerto Banús
Puerto Banús is a favourite top-end shopping destination, with its broad array of jewellers, boutiques and men’s outfitters where all the top names – from Dior, Chanel and Cartier to Omega, Bulgari, Dolce Gabbana, Gucci and Versace can be found. Right next door is one of the largest department stores in Spain, the El Corte Inglés store where all the top brands can be found under one roof, offering a gourmet food court, restaurants, designer fashion outlets and every other product you can imagine or wish for. And after a round of shopping, which includes a helipad, private suites and personal shoppers for the most discerning of clients – you can head out and enjoy lunch overlooking the yacht harbour.
7. Beach party at Nikki Beach
Beach parties are very much part of the Marbella scene these days, enjoying a long sunny season that runs from spring to autumn. Each offers a slightly different combination of setting, dining options, pool decks, music and ambience, and among the most in-favour is Nikki Beach, situated at the beach end of the five-star Don Carlos Hotel in Elviria, Marbella East. This area has the finest beaches in Marbella, and at Nikki Beach this comes complete with fine dining, live entertainment and luxuriant pool and beachside relaxation. In many ways, Nikki Beach personifies the glamorous outdoor lifestyle Marbella offers.
Of course, if you already own a stylish villa in Marbella, number seven can be replaced with hosting stylish dinners and entertaining guests at private parties in your garden, terrace or by the panoramic swimming pool. Many of the top restaurants, including those of Michelin-star chef Dani García, offer a gourmet catering service complete with staff.